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National Farm to School Network

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This Week in Farm to School: 7/2/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 02, 2019
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to Early Care and Education State Strategic Planning 
Thursday, July 11 // 1-2 PM ET
Developing a farm to early care and education (ECE) state strategic plan can facilitate the coordinated growth, expansion, and institutionalization of farm to ECE across the state. Aligning the plan with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Spectrum of Opportunities for State-Level Obesity Prevention Efforts Targeting the Early Care and Education Setting further supports comprehensive integration of farm to ECE into existing ECE systems and structures, which can increase reach and support long-term successes. In this webinar presented by the National Farm to School Network, we’ll learn about the Spectrum of Opportunities from Nora Geary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and hear from Erin Croom of Georgia Organics and Caliste Chong of Alabama Smart Start about the development, implementation, and impacts of state farm to ECE strategic plans in their states. This webinar will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Register here.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: State Local Purchasing Incentive Bills 
Thursday, August 1 // 1-2 PM ET
Providing an increased meal reimbursement to schools and early care and education sites purchasing and serving local foods not only increases the amount of fresh, local foods in meal program, but can provide increased revenue streams for local producers. Many states are exploring or pursuing local food incentive bills and a few states have passed and implemented successful legislation, providing important models for future legislation. In this webinar, presented by the National Farm to School Network, we’ll hear from key stakeholders about the passage and enactment of the MI Ten Cents a Meal Program and the New Mexico Grown Local Produce Grant. This webinar will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Register here.

3. EQUITY Webinar: Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics
Tuesday, July 16 // 3-4 PM ET
The Racial Equity in Food Systems Working Group (REFS) is a national workgroup coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. The webinar will provide an introduction to the newly published guide, Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics, including examples of metrics in four different themes and ways the guide can be used. Following this introduction, two food system leaders will share how they are using data and metrics to drive system change. There will be time in the webinar for questions, comments, and suggestions for related resources. Register here

4. Webinar: Keeping up with Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act
Tuesday, July 9 //  3-4 PM EDT
Join the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future Food Policy Networks project for a panel discussion with policy experts (including Chloe Marshall, NFSN Policy Specialist) on the process for reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. This important act legislates school meal and child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and was last reauthorized in 2010 in the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. Learn about the process for reauthorization, what is to come in the next few months, and how food policy councils can engage in the reauthorization process. Register here

5. Louisiana Farm to School Conference
October 22-23, 2019  // Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Louisiana Farm to School Program will host the annual Louisiana Farm to School Conference on October 23, 2019 at the Pennington Biomedical Conference Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During their time in the Bayou State, stakeholders will attend a special "Meet the Buyer, Greet the Grower" event to kick off the conference and explore networking opportunities between farmers and school nutrition staff. Some of the hot topics for this event will include school gardening challenges, barriers of farm to school, and sourcing local foods in school. Save the date and make a trip to attend! Learn more here

6. 2019 Maine Farm to School Conference
October 4, 2019  // Hinckley/Clinton, Maine
With the 2019 conference theme of "Innovations in Farm to School", stakeholders from across the state of Maine and beyond will convene for a full day of learning, best practice sharing, and networking. This event will be hosted at the Kennebec Valley Community College's Alfond Campus from 8:30 AM - 5 PM. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Call for Resources: Farm to School/ECE Procurement and Child Nutrition Program Resources  
In partnership with National Centers for Appropriate Technology, National Farm to School Network was recently awarded a cooperative agreement with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) to develop a Farm to School Producer Training Program. Our first step is aggregating farm to school/ECE training resources that have content focused on USDA Child Nutrition Programs and local procurement. We are especially interested in content targeted at farmers and producers. Please send any and all relevant resources (name of resource and link) to Jenileigh Harris, NFSN Program Intern, at programs@farmtoschool.org.

2. EQUITY Boston Brings Sustainability, Equity to Its Food Purchasing
In March, the Boston City Council unanimously passed a good food purchasing program (GFPP) ordinance. Serving 11.1 million meals annually with an $18 million food budget, Boston Public Schools (BPS) is the city’s biggest food purchaser, and the GFPP will lead to big changes in BPS’s school lunch menus. What stands out about Boston’s policy is that it not only requires the city to procure sustainably grown food, consider animal welfare and the local economy, but also to focus on racial equity in the food chain during the purchasing process. "This policy is so transformative because it impacts all of those concerns at every step—serving nutritious food that’s been grown sustainably and harvested by workers who are treated with dignity as much as possible.” Read more on Civil Eats


Policy News
1. Farm to School Act of 2019 Introduced in Congress
The Farm to School Act of 2019 has been introduced in Congress with bipartisan support by legislative champions Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), David Perdue (R-GA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representatives Marcia Fudge (D-OH ) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). The Farm to School Act of 2019 builds on the success of the farm to school movement by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also: increase the maximum grant award to $250,000; prioritize grant proposals that engage beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and serve high-need schools; fully include early care and education sites, summer food service sites and afterschool programs; and, increase access among Native and tribal schools to traditional foods, especially from tribal producers. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2019 by signing a letter of support on behalf of your organization. Individuals can sign up here to receive campaign updates and alerts for important action opportunities. Join us in making sure Congress knows that farm to school is a powerful tool for supporting our kids, our farmers and our communities! To learn more, download this fact sheet and visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2019


Job Opportunities
1. Executive Director, Gallatin Valley Farm to School (Montana) 
Gallatin Valley Farm to School is hiring an Executive Director. The Executive Director is a professional position that is accountable to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the management and oversight of all aspects of GVF2S programs and business operations. The Executive Director leads innovation and strategic growth toward accomplishing the mission of the organization, and acts to create the long-term success of GVF2S. Learn more here

2. Garden Coordinator, Green Plate Special (Washington)
Green Plate Special (GPS) is hiring a Garden Coordinator. GPS is a rapidly growing organization that offers seed-to-table programs serving youth ages 9-14. This is an excellent opportunity for a strong organic gardener/farmer with experience working with youth in an educational setting. This position is geared for someone who is committed to inspiring young people to experience food in new ways and interested in joining a small team with big ambitions. Learn more here

3. Resident District Manager, Sodexo Schools (Massachusetts)
Sodexo Schools is seeking a Resident District Manager to oversee food operation for the Springfield Public Schools District, serving over 60 schools. The successful candidate will have strong leadership and client relations skills and possess the ability to balance multiple priorities simultaneously. Springfield Public Schools District recently completed a new commissary with the stated intention of processing and serving local food - this a great opportunity to grow new farm to school efforts. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Maoloha on the move in Hawaii
The first time Malama Kauai fired up their new kitchen trailer was in November, on the grounds of Kawaikini Public Charter School. Since then, the school’s second-grade class named has named the trailer “Maoloha,” after the large-meshed nets used at Hawaiian makahiki ceremonies. It represents the trailer’s purpose in feeding the community. (The Garden Island)

How a garden is helping Illinois students learn English
When it comes to mastering a new language, it's often best to learn by doing. That's the real reason English Language Learners teacher Melissa Eaton planted a garden at Cowlishaw Elementary School in Naperville. (Daily Herald)

Building a garden to offer Pennsylvania students healthy eating options
A group of students and volunteers got together in Schuylkill County to put the finishing touches on a huge garden. It's designed to offer students healthier eating options, but it will also benefit the public. "I think it's terrific. It is very important that we teach our children about being able to grow plants and learning to plant and be self-sufficient and harvest what we grow," said Mary Anne Woodward, North Schuylkill School Board. (WNEP ABC)

Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

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